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Vaccine. 1998 Nov;16(18):1732-41.

Multivalent pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide conjugate vaccines employing genetically detoxified pneumolysin as a carrier protein.

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North American Vaccine, Inc., Beltsville, Maryland, USA.


A genetically detoxified pneumolysin, pneumolysoid (PLD), was investigated as a carrier protein for pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide (CPS). Such a CPS-PLD conjugate might provide additional protection against pneumococcal infections and resultant tissue damage. A single point mutant of pneumolysin was selected, which lacked measurable haemolytic activity, but exhibited the overall structural and immunological properties of the wild type. PLD conjugates were prepared from CPS serotypes 6B, 14, 19F, and 23F by reductive amination. The structural features of free PLD, as well as the corresponding CPS-PLD, as assessed by circular dichroism spectroscopy, were virtually indistinguishable from the wild type counterpart. Each of the CPS monovalent and tetravalent conjugate formulations were examined for immunogenicity in mice at both 0.5 and 2.0 micrograms CPS per dose. Tetanus toxoid (TT) conjugates were similarly created and used for comparison. The resultant conjugate vaccines elicited high levels of CPS-specific IgG that was opsonophagocytic for all serotypes tested. Opsonophagocytic titres, expressed as reciprocal dilutions resulting in 50% killing using HL-60 cells, ranged from 100 to 30,000, depending on the serotype and formulation. In general, the lower dose and tetravalent formulations yielded the best responses for all serotypes (i.e., either equivalent or better than the higher dose and monovalent formulations). The PLD conjugates were also generally equivalent to or better in CPS-specific responses than the TT conjugates. In particular, both the PLD conjugate and the tetravalent formulations induced responses for type 23F CPS that were approximately an order of magnitude greater than that of the corresponding TT conjugate and monovalent formulations. In addition, all the PLD conjugates elicited high levels of pneumolysin-specific IgG which were shown to neutralize pneumolysin-induced haemolytic activity in vitro. As a result of these findings, PLD appears to provide an advantageous alternative to conventional carrier proteins for pneumococcal multivalent CPS conjugate vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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